vs. Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley
Missouri played it straight with Shipley last week, and he and McCoy got into a comfort zone early. Colorado played it straight and even single covered Shipley and almost won, but that was because of other breakdowns in the game by Texas.
I think you take Shipley out of the game as best you can and make Texas and McCoy beat you with someone else. Perrish Cox can do that and has practice as he took out the immensely talented A.J. Green in the Georgia game. Cox can't be on Shipley on every play but he can be moved around to catch the Texas wideout a bunch.
But just as important as their battle from the line of scrimmage will be their battle in returns. They won't go head to head there, but the numbers they run up will go a long way toward determining who wins the game.
vs. Texas defensive front seven
Second, the Cowboys have to stay in less than predictable situations on second and third downs. They need at least four yards on first down to keep it at second-and-six or less. This offense is able to stay balanced and present the defense with an either/or option if they can run. The offense needs to complete some passes on first down too.
Texas has that highly vaunted run defense. They are good but Colorado exposed them. The Longhorns have not played that many good running teams and most teams were taken out of the run by the scoreboard, usually by halftime. Plenty of respect here for Texas, their speed like Sergio KIndle and their brawn like Lamarr Houston. However, the Cowboys have the cryptonite for that with offensive left tackle Russell Okung. Okung drilled Brian Orakpo last season and he'll drill somebody else this season.
Edge: Slight Edge to OSU
Edge: Slight Edge to Texas
I don't see a run and hide affair for the Cowboys. I think if the two teams played four times, I'd guess Texas might win three of them. Here's hoping Saturday is the fourth. If it is winnable, I can't go against OSU. This game could be educational as there are standout coaches on each side of the field. I really believe that it will come down to a field goal and I believe Dan Bailey will hit his first career walk-off kick.
Big 12 Predictions
Nebraska 20, @Baylor 14
Missouri 28, @Colorado 17
@Texas A&M 31, Iowa State 24
@Texas Tech 42, Kansas 36
@Oklahoma 35, Kansas State 14
Last Week's Games
Oklahoma State 41, @Baylor 17
@Nebraska 28, Iowa State 20
Oklahoma 38, @Kansas 14
@Texas Tech 70, Texas A&M 21
@Kansas State 27, Colorado 24
Texas 34, @Missouri 20
Note: Games involving FCS teams do not have lines